Posts by Dylan Reeve

  • Hard News: Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely,

    “it appears the government interest in the success of the [business migration] policy may have been misconstrued as political pressure”

    That interpretation seems plausible, but I'd still suggest that is political pressure in that the Minister, ostensibly wanting to make the business migration scheme a success, was basically applying pressure.

    Honestly at this stage the details of Dotcom's residency, the GCSB and SIS involvement at various stages, the police operation... All make it very hard to believe that the Prime Minister wasn't briefed at least once or twice.

    If he really is telling the truth about not having heard of Dotcom prior to the raid then it's a pretty serious indictment into the way he runs his government I'd think because at least a few of those occasions certainly should have been brought to his attention.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The problem of “horror tenants”…, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Not entirely accurate.
    If rent is increased beyond market rate, the tenant can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for a market rent order. Adjudicators use Department of Housing, Tenancy Services data-based statistics to determine local market rents.

    But then there is the inequality of power issue. Sure you might be able to convince the court to have your rent brought in line with a fairer market rate, but it's hard to imagine in that circumstance that your future rental prospects in that property are very good.

    And of course the old reference issue strikes again too - "Oh Joe Smith? He took me to the tribunal to force a lower rent" isn't a great reference for your next potential landlord.

    What's legally possible and what's practical aren't always in line with one another.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What rules are these?, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I don’t think it’s true that people prefer crap. It’s perfectly possible to write good popular coverage of pop music and pop stars that sells. But that is harder work.

    In broad terms they do prefer "crap" - in that is sells more copies or rates higher, whatever the metric.

    That doesn't mean it's not possible to create good (and popular) content too, of course, but it's less profitable and that's clearly going to be a significant factor in whether it actually happens and in what scale.

    So because of the marketability of the pulp stuff there will always be people willing to cater to that market.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What rules are these?, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I get that it’s easier and cheaper to fill a page with the tosh of Runting and his ilk, or a lightly fluffed press release, than a well-written and fully-reported arts/culture feature.

    The point is not the ease, but the return. As much as we might like to pretend otherwise, people prefer the tosh to a arts/culture feature.

    The circulation of the gossip mags far exceeds the more refined alternatives.

    This is the same as the arguments for substantive documentary and drama in place of reality TV and imported shows. They simply don't get the audience.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What rules are these?, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And sorry, but where’s the public interest let alone news value in (gasp!) Actress X. goes out for coffee or picks her children up from school in sweatpants and a t-shirt rather than a high end couture gown?

    Well ultimately the media interest is in the public interest. As annoying as the cry of "we're only giving people what they want" can be it is ultimately true.

    If people didn't buy the magazines then they wouldn't be able to sell the advertising and they wouldn't have the money to buy the pictures - it's that simple. They've clearly found that photos of celebrities going about their business like normal people somehow sells magazines and I'm not sure that there's anything we can do about that.

    If people want to see it, then someone will cater to it - right? And if there's money in catering to that demands, then others will join in too.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: What rules are these?,

    I’m always a little conflicted about this sort of stuff – the fact is that any of us have the legal right to photograph anyone in a public place, and that is the same right that these photographers are asserting. I don’t think that should be limited because once press photographers aren’t allowed to photograph celebrities in public then perhaps we aren’t allowed to photograph the police in public, or something similar?

    However if any of us, as ordinary people, started following and obsessively photographing some random member of the public we could be charged with any of a few different offences, and we likely would.

    Similarly, I’m sure if we started taking photos of 16-year-olds on the beach and selling them, or even posting them publicly, that the editorials focussed on us by the Sunday Star Times would be somewhat different.

    There is a trade-off that the famous have to accept to some extent, but that’s no reason to suggest that there should be no limits, or that behaviour that, in other circumstances, would be harassment and stalking should be acceptable.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Illegal Highs, in reply to Sacha,

    Utter bullshit. As if Labour proposing a policy forces the govt to enact it.

    If Dunne was actually worried about the impact of announcing his change, there was nothing to stop his continued silence – except the sheer political vanity of wanting to be seen as the one who thought of it.

    Just went looking for the "upvote" button on that comment, then remembered where I was. Consider this comment an upvote.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Poor Choices,

    Isn't a lot of bullying somewhat "in the eye of the beholder" - it's hard for any given person (the proposed bully) to know what another person (the bullyee) may take to heart.

    I've unwittingly said some very hurtful things to some people entirely unknowingly and unintentionally.

    Ultimately would a Charlotte's Law have done anything to prevent Charlotte's death?

    I don't really understand depression as I've never suffered from it, but what I am fairly sure about is that it doesn't really obey the simple rules of logic and reason that we'd like to imagine it does. If Charlotte were not the subject of abuse and ridicule on Twitter and in the media, would that have necessarily changed the outcome for her, or would her mind have taken over in their absence?

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Bad Judgement,

    I still find the idea that TVNZ (or it's staff) are taxpayer funded to be incredibly infuriating. It's simply untrue. Although in this case it's marginally more accurate than when usually levelled (because the Maori and Pacific department programming is largely funded by NZ On Air and Te Mangai Paho) it's still fundamentally untrue.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Bad Judgement, in reply to Sacha,

    Shows how TVNZ ceased feeling like a public sector organisation many years ago. Not part of the culture.

    I'd say there was a definite awareness within TVNZ that actions of staff, both on and off the job, may be scrutinized more closely because of who they work for. I'm not sure if that's because TVNZ is owned by the government, or because it's a media organisation (and other media organisations seem to delight in reporting on their competitors).

    Not long after I first started working at TVNZ I created (in my own time) the "" website to parody the anti-smacking referendum. It got some media attention (and also a legal threat from Elections NZ) which freaked me out - I quickly talked to TVNZ legal who said they weren't worried, but it was a quick lesson for me in being careful about how my actions could potentially reflect.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 198 posts Report Reply

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